The BC Commissioner for Teacher Regulation has banned a former Kelowna teacher who used a falsified document in a job application from getting a teaching certificate for 18 months.
The penalty was issued in the case of Nicola Julie Pendleton, who applied for a job at Lakeside School Kelowna in June 2018. It follows a ruling in April that found her guilty of professional misconduct.
In releasing its decision on consequences, the panel that reviewed the case notes this is the first case of unauthorized practice under the Teachers Act in B.C.
The woman received her teacher education in Australia and sought to obtain a professional certificate in this province. She was issued a conditional certificate on Sept. 4, 2012, which was set to expire on June 30. 2017. She was granted a one-year extension, but it expired on June 30, 2018.
The panel alleges that when applying for the job in June 2018 at Lakeside School, she provided a copy of a professional certificate of qualification purportedly issued by the Teacher Qualification Service. The TQS, however, did not issue the certificate.
Pendleton was hired at Lakeside on Aug. 30, 2018, and worked there until the fall of 2019, when the school learned she did not hold a professional certificate and that her conditional certificate had expired.
“In this case, the respondent legitimately held a conditional certificate and her misrepresentations to gain employment at Lakeside occurred within a period of a few months in 2018. However, the panel finds that this conduct (representing that she held a professional certificate, when her conditional certificate was expiring, and falsifying a professional certificate to gain employment), is reprehensible and undermines the integrity of the profession in this province,” wrote the panel.
The panel calls Pendleton’s conduct blatantly dishonest.
It is also considered as aggravating factors Pendleton’s lack of remorse and continued representation during a 2019-2020 investigation that she held a professional certificate long after her conditional certificate had expired.
The commissioner did not award costs in the case. Pendleton did not participate in the findings hearing and did not file any submissions on consequences prior to the June 30, 2022 deadline.